In order to get the most out of your longboard, it is recommended that you follow some basic steps in order to maintain it.
Longboard Maintenance Tips
Protect Your Deck
Excessive water and sun exposure are the biggest threats to your longboard’s deck. A wet deck will become weak and will eventually break and crack. If the deck becomes wet, dry it off immediately. Prolonged exposure to the sun may cause the longboard’s deck to become brittle. When not in use, longboards should be stored indoors or in a shaded area. To clean your deck, do the following:
• After removing the trucks, use a nylon brush and soapy water to clean the deck. Brush in tight circles over the grip tape side.
• Using a sponge, rinse off the deck with clean water to remove the soap. Look over the board’s surface, and repeat this process if necessary.
• Flip the deck over. Using a sponge and clean water, gently wipe down the underside of the board. Give special attention to the area where the trucks were located.
• Dry off the underside with a towel, and allow the deck to dry for 3 to 4 hours. Reattach the trucks to the deck.
Proper bearing maintenance is essential to board performance. If your board’s bearings are making a squeaky sound or if you can tell that they are sticking, stop riding immediately. Clean the bearings using the following procedure:
• Remove the bearings, and check them for debris.
• Prior to clean the bearings, carefully remove the rubber shield with a small pen. Do not force anything since this could lead to bearing damage.
• Soak bearings in kerosene or mineral spirits. Gently move the solution around in order to guarantee the entire surface of the bearings are clean.
• Using a 99 percent isopropyl alcohol, rinse off the bearings.
• Use compressed air to quickly dry bearings.
• Following the manufacturer’s instructions, use a lubricant to lubricate your bearings.
• Replace the rubber shield.
• Insert bearings into wheels.
Stay away from puddles, rain or sand. Water and rain will damage bearings and will reduce your longboard’s performance.
Depending on their offset, longboard wheels will wear down more quickly on one side than the other. It is recommended that the wheels be rotated every few weeks in order to help them wear evenly. When wheels begin to show signs of major wear and tear, it is a good idea to replace them entirely.
Longboards are designed to last for many years. The amount of time that a rider will be able to use their board will depend on the maintenance and care that they give it.
Longboard Truck Cleaning
It is pretty common for dirt and other residues to get in between your longboard trucks, which is why we recommend that you clean them on a monthly basis. The first step is to unscrew the trucks from the board and get yourself a fresh water hose or run it through tap water. The importance of rinsing with water is enormous and will help reveal all the dirt residues.
Once you have done that, you should grab a clean sponge and prepare a mix of soap and water. Soak the sponge into it and remove any residue from the longboard trucks. Repeat the process of rinsing and using a soapy sponge a couple of times until you are 100% satisfied with the result. Make sure to perform the same procedure at both sides of the board with special attention to the spots where trucks are attached.
The final step is to wipe the trucks with a cloth and let them air dry for a couple of hours, then reattach them back to the board. With regards to the maintenance of longboard trucks, you can prevent squeaking by applying a few coatings of soap shaving to the pivot cup. Apart from the fact that it will eliminate the distracting noise, you will also enjoy a more fluid movement of the trucks.
Last but certainly not least is what you should do in case the trucks are clicking. In most cases, the problem is related to the bushings slipping out beneath the washer, which you should be able to fix by tightening with a bolt.
Cleaning Grip Tape
A lot of people undermine the importance of high-quality grip tape. It provides stability and minimizes the risks of heavier bumps and accidents. On top of all that, clean and elegant grip tape improves the appearance of your longboard.
As for the reasons why you should clean it regularly, the first one is that it will allow you to get more grip and maneuver the longboard with less effort. In addition to that, it helps for smooth freerides and long-distance cruising. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be concerned, as cleaning grip tape is a straightforward process.
First, you should prepare all of the maintenance equipment, including a nylon brush, sponge, fresh water, soap powder, and a dry towel or a cloth. You should wipe any visible deck dirt and other residue with a nylon brush, paying extra attention to the spots around the grip tape. The second step is to rinse the whole board with the grip tape through the water.
After you have revealed what is left of the dirt, prepare a mixture of water and the soap powder, then soak a clean sponge into it. The idea is to clean with circular movements until you have removed all the dirt from the grip tape. Similar to cleaning the longboard trucks, you should repeat the process of rinsing and applying the soap until you are completely satisfied.
The final step is to dry it with a cloth or a towel, then allow it to sit out for a couple of hours until all excess water evaporates. In the end, while cleaning is essential, you shouldn’t shy away from replacing your grip tape once it is too slippery and worn out.
As longboarding is enjoyed during the spring and summer seasons, you should store your board in proper conditions throughout the periods of rough weather. The fact that most longboards are made out of maple and ply makes these pretty sensitive to rain and snow damage. With that in mind, you shouldn’t risk leaving your longboard out, even if it is only for a couple of days.
Sudden temperature changes can result in brittle wheels and slippery grip tape. It is the main reason why you should store the longboard in a warm and non-humid room. Of course, you should have it out of your way so that no one can step or trip over it. Our favorite when it comes to storing a longboard is to invest in a proper rack. Yes, it is more expensive, but it is the best option if you want to have it remain undamaged during the off-season. There are a couple of alternatives for those on a limited budget, such as installing a double coat rack, using a guitar hanger, or a sturdy garage hook.
At the end of the day, the offseason is the perfect time to perform routine checks on your longboard and replace any worn-out pieces.